Walt Disney World Resorts are magical destinations. Whether the resort is your home away from home during your stay, or you’re resort hopping, there are so many wonderful things to do. Here are 10 things you may be missing at the resorts.
10. Movies Under the Stars
The resorts show Disney movies in the evenings outside on large screens. Some resorts play the movies next to the pool, so you can go for a leisurely swim and catch the movie, or pull up a lawn chair and watch. The front desk at the resort will be able to tell you which film they will be showing on which nights during your stay. This is a great way to relax after a long day at the parks, and it’s perfect for all ages. What could be better than a Disney movie under the stars at Disney World?
9. Character Wake Up Calls
You can wake up to an alarm any old day, but when you’re at Disney the best way to wake up is to a character calling! This is especially magical for children, but also fun for all Disney fans. You can arrange for your character wake up call by using the wake up call button on the phone, or calling the front desk. It’s also a great way to make sure you’ll be up in time to catch the Welcome Show at Magic Kingdom.
Some of the resorts have amazing snacks that you can’t find in the parks. The French Quarter in the Port Orleans resort serves the famous beignets, which are deep fried dough dusted with powdered sugar. These are found at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. Over at Animal Kingdom Lodge you can get Zebra Domes at The Mara and Boma. They are little cakes that blend white chocolate and espresso flavors in a delectable little dome. And for some cupcake options that you won’t find in the parks, head over to the Contempo Café in the Contemporary resort.
7. Alternative Fireworks Viewing Locations
A few of the deluxe resorts are so close to the Magic Kingdom that they have some of the best viewing spots for Wishes. While you won’t be in the midst of the action, you’ll avoid the crowds and the rush to leave the park after the fireworks. The California Grill in the Contemporary has a spectacular view from the 15th floor, and the Polynesian has a beautiful beach where you can watch the fireworks explode over the Seven Seas Lagoon. The fireworks can also been seen from The Grand Floridian and the Wilderness Lodge. Some of the rooms may have a great view, or ask the front desk if they can recommend any alternative viewing spots at the resorts.
6. Jogging Trails
If you like staying active when on vacation, Disney has you covered. There are jogging and running trails available at the resorts. At the All Star Resorts there is a one mile trail that connects all three resorts, so regardless whether you’re at a value, moderate or deluxe resort there are trails that you can run, or even go for a walk along. You can pick up a map of the trails from the front desk of the resort.
5. Water Transportation
There are buses from each resort to the parks and other destinations on Disney property, but there are a few other ways to travel as well. Magic Kingdom is accessible by water taxi from a number of the deluxe resorts. There are even a few resorts that offer a water taxi to Disney Springs. Water transportation is a great alternative to the buses, so check if that is an option from your resort.
Many of the moderate and deluxe resorts have traditional campfires complete with marshmallows for roasting. Ending a busy and tiring day at the parks with a relaxing, old-fashioned campfire is a great alternative to the bustle of the parks in the evening. Perfect for families, friends and couples.
3. Character Dining
Whether you’re a guest of the resorts or not, there are some amazing character dining experiences to be had at several of the restaurants. 1900 Park Fare has some great dining options where guests can meet princesses and other favorites like Alice and Mary Poppins. Mickey and friends are over at Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary, and Lilo and Stitch host a breakfast at ‘Ohana at the Polynesian. A great character dining experience you may be missing out on is Mickey’s Backyard BBQ at the campsites at Fort Wilderness.
2. Celebration Buttons
Disney seems to have buttons to celebrate everything from birthdays, anniversaries, first visits, and honeymoons. They even a button that allows you to fill in exactly what you are celebrating. There are a few places to get these buttons and your hotel front desk is one such place. If you’re at Disney to celebrate something, ask the Cast Member for a button when checking-in.
Tours aren’t exclusive to the parks. There are some truly amazing tours offered at some of the resorts, especially at Animal Kingdom Lodge. They have a number of tours that bring you in close proximity to the animals, and take you backstage. The Starlight Safari tour gives you the opportunity to view the wildlife at night with the help of some night vision goggles. Animal Kingdom Lodge also offers a free 30-minute culinary tour of their signature restaurants. The tours are available to all Disney guests, not just guests of the resort.